What is Teen Dating Violence


In Brief

You or your peers might often think that some behaviours, like teasing and name-calling, "playful” use of force in sex or jealousies are a “normal” part of a relationship. At the beginning of a relationship excessive texting, accusation of flirting with others, pressure to commit to the relationship and expectations to meet all partner's needs may be seen as a sign of love. However, these behaviours have nothing to do with love and can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.

Not all forms of violence leave visible scars, but all forms of abuse contribute to the real fear, suffering, health problems and have an impact on individuals, families and society.

More Detailed:

What is teen dating violence (TDV)?

Teen dating violence occurs between two people in a close relationship and includes physical, sexual violence, emotional/psychological abuse, and stalking. It is a pattern of behaviours one person uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former partner.

According to the research conducted in five countries involved in the "Love & Respect" project, in average 54,8 % of young people or teenagers (who have some experience with relationships or dating) have been or are experiencing some kind of repeated violent behaviour from their partner for a longer time.

Types of violence/abuse

Psychological/Emotional violence include name calling, shaming, embarrassing on purpose, yelling and screaming, keeping you away from friends, threats, making you feel guilty, constant monitoring, damaging property, humiliation, threats to expose your secrets, starting rumours about you. Emotional abuse may not cause physical damage, but it does cause emotional pain, harms sense of self-worth, lowers confidence and self-esteem. As a result, you may start to blame yourself for your partner’s abusive behaviour.

Sexual violence refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do and includes: unwanted kissing or touching, forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity, sexual harassment, rape or attempted rape, refusing to use condoms, sexual contact with someone who is very drunk or unable to give a clear “yes”, forcing someone to look at pornography. It is important to know that just because the victim “didn’t say no,” doesn’t mean that they consented. Sometimes physically resisting can put a victim at a bigger risk for further abuse.

Examples of physical violence include: pushing or pulling you; pulling your hair, grabbing you to prevent you from leaving, throwing something at you,; scratching, punching, slapping, biting, strangling or kicking , using a knife, gun other weapons.

Stalking refers to a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics, including when a person repeatedly watches, follows or harasses you, that makes you feel afraid or unsafe.

Healthy relationships

There is no excuse for abuse of any kind. If you think your relationship is unhealthy, it’s important to think about your safety. You deserve to be to feel safe, respected and accepted in your relationship. Healthy relationships are based on equality and respect and your partner will never do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you.

You have rights in your relationship which can help you set boundaries and should be respected by both partners. You have the right to privacy, to live free from violence and abuse, to decide who you want to date or not date, to choose when/if you have sex and who you have sex with, to say no at any time, to hang out with your friends and do things you enjoy without your partner, to feel safe and respected, to end a relationship that isn’t right for you.

Many teens who are involved in an abusive relationship do not report it because they feel afraid and ashamed to tell friends and family. This can cause serious physical, emotional, and mental damage to a young person. On the other hand, healthy relationship behaviours can have a positive effect on an emotional development of teenager.

This platform highlights the importance of healthy relationships throughout life and offers resources for youth interested in learning more about teen dating violence. It is an online interactive resource that provides interactive quizzes, information, links to social media where you can discus and ask questions about your relationships.